News Cast for September 11th:

Tomorrow evening, it will be that time of the year, the time when the general public can voice their opinion on the proposed budget for Okeechobee County’s next fiscal year. County commissioners will meet to hold a public hearing and hear the thoughts of the community on the budget, which is projected to be just under $100 million dollars, with just over $19 million dollars of that for the sheriff’s department. The public hearing will be held tomorrow evening at five o’clock in the Historic County Courthouse.

Speaking of budgets, a public hearing was held last night during the first Okeechobee County School Board meeting of the new school year, but no one from the public expressed any thoughts or concerns about the school district’s near $78 million dollar budget for the next fiscal year. School Superintendent Ken Kenworthy says this didn’t surprise him at all because the bulk of the budget is set for the county for the most part by the state legislature and Department of Education. Kenworthy says it’s important to note that the budget is over five and a half million dollars more for this fiscal year than last year’s and he says that’s due to “rollover funds” and not new funds. Kenworthy also reports the school’s general fund is also up to $58 million dollars because the base student allocation is up $75 dollars per student and that’s due to a projected increase of the number of students in the district this year. Overall, Kenworthy says he’s pleased with how the budget has turned out.

Last week, it was Guatemala-based Bautech USA, Inc. making a deal with the county to move their business to Industrial Park in Okeechobee, last night another new business will be making its way here following the city council meeting last night. Councilmembers unanimously approved the sale of a vacant lot at Commerce Center Park to a Texas-based business owner, who will use the property to build a business that will deal in picking up health care waste at local doctors’ and dentists’ offices and disposing of it. Megan Smith, President of the Okeechobee County Economic Development Corporation says this business owner, whose name cannot be revealed at this time due to a non-disclosure agreement with the corporation, came to them and chose Okeechobee for his business because of Okeechobee’s centralized location, the attractiveness of the park itself and the fact that it’s also ready made for his business. Smith says this is a big victory for Okeechobee County. The facility will be a 35 hundred square foot building and the business will mean at least twenty new jobs, all paying at least twenty dollars an hour. It should be ready by the start of 2020. Smith cited City Administrator Marcos Montes De Oca and officials from Florida Power and Light (FPL) in helping to make this possible.

A vehicle accident resulted in the arrest of an Okeechobee man Sunday evening. Sheriff’s deputies were called to the 14 thousand block of Highway 441 North shortly after 7:45 after receiving reports from a woman there that someone driving a Ford pickup truck backed into her car and the driver, identified as 39 year old Miguel Angel Lopez, tried to flee the scene but he could not because the bumpers of both vehicles were lodged together. Deputies say Lopez then got out of his truck and started walking away. Lopez was eventually found walking near the intersection of 441 North and NE 144th Street. Lopez was arrested and charged with driving without a valid license, leaving the scene of an accident and obstruction without violence. He was booked into a county jail and his bond is set at $15 hundred dollars.

On the arrest report:

22 year old Daniel Gonzalez of Okeechobee was arrested by sheriff’s deputies for trespassing and disorderly conduct. His bond is set at a thousand dollars.

21 year old Candelario Vega of Okeechobee was arrested for drunk driving after a traffic stop and field sobriety test. His bond is set at $250 dollars.

37 year old Nina Lynn Cyr of Okeechobee was arrested for grand theft auto. Her bond is set at $25 hundred dollars.

24 year old Eric Anselmo of Okeechobee was arrested for introducing cocaine into a detention facility. His bond is set at $25 hundred dollars.

31 year old Marshall Shane Abney of Okeechobee was arrested for disorderly intoxication and disturbing the peace in a public place and resisting arrest. He was released after posting a one thousand dollar bond.

52 year old Rupert Andy Goolsby of Okeechobee was arrested for drunk driving after a traffic stop and field sobriety test. He was released after posting a $750 dollar bond.

31 year old Ronald Wade Palmer of Okeechobee was arrested by police on a local warrant for petit theft and driving without a valid license and possession of methamphetamine after a traffic stop. His bond is set at a thousand dollars.

39 year old Alexei Leonardo McCall of Port St. Lucie was arrested on a warrant from St. Lucie County for failing to register as a sex offender with the sheriff’s office. He’s being held without bond.